Wilmington, Ohio – Week 13 of World Equestrian Center’s Winter Classic horse show series is well underway, bringing top competition to both the hunter and jumper arenas. A field of twelve standard-topping jumpers challenged the $10,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m in the Sanctuary arena today over a track constructed by Joey Rycroft (CAN), that featured several bending lines, as well as multiple combinations and a liverpool.
Five entries went clear in the qualifying round, but just one pair managed a double clear effort. Megan Bash (USA) and Jackson VDL (Zirocco Blue VDL x Design O) topped the $10,000 Welcome Stake, laying down two spectacular double clear rounds for another WEC Welcome Stake win.
Today marked the third Welcome Stake win for Bash of Cleveland Equestrian in Novelty, Ohio, and her gorgeous gray. They completed round one in 71.252 seconds, well under the allowed time of 78 seconds.
When asked how she prepares for the WEC feature classes she replied, “The work happens at home. Once we are at the facility I work on keeping him loose. We rode in last Saturday’s Grand Prix, and I haven’t jumped him until today. I try to focus on flatwork and I leave the conditioning and harder work at home.”
Bash and the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood continued straight to the jump-off, making no mistakes while they fiercely galloped down the bending lines and soared to the top of each effort, to complete the short course in a quick 36.313 seconds, ultimately winning the class.
Bash went on to speak about Jackson VDL and riding today’s course. “Three out of four weeks showing, Jackson and I have been the Welcome winners! He is a winning machine and back to what I said during our first interview, he gives me 200% every ride. My job is staying out of his way. I’ve never jumped this designer’s courses, but it was super fun. It was a little intimidating when I walked it because he used the ring very differently than the other course designers. There were different bending lines and jumps out of the corner. It was a great challenge and I look forward to the rest of the week!”
Paul Halpern (CAN) and Vanessa Lee’s Esra (Bratt Z x Ulibra) claimed today’s $10,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m second-place honors. Halpern of Nova Stables and the sporty ten-year-old AHHA mare went clear in round one, stopping the timer in just 74.894 seconds. The pair immediately took to the jump-off course, where they accrued an unlucky four-fault penalty onto their 37.540-second finish to slide into the second place standing.
Ian C. Roberts (CAN) and his own Copper Cove ( Douglas x Hyundai Santa Fe) rounded out the $10,000 WEC Welcome Stake top three placings. Roberts and the 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding yielded an effortless first round in 75.278 seconds, followed by a 41.185-second jump-off time. Their short course efforts were accompanied by an unfortunate rail, resulting in a four-fault penalty and a third-place finish.
$10,000 WEC Welcome Stake Results:
- Jackson VDL, Megan Bash: 0 | 0 | 36.313
- Esra, Paul Halpern: 0 | 4 | 37.540
- Copper Cove, Ian C. Roberts: 0 | 4 | 41.185
- Matinee BSH, Shawn Butler: 0 | 4 | 41.968
- Cornet S Lady, Chloe Parker: 0 | 14 | 57.262
- Hendrik Wildricks, David Q. Beisel: 1 | 78.241
- Light Show, Lani Hutchison: 4 | 69.769
- Vegas H, David Q. Beisel: 4 | 73.249
- Tinka’s Soldier, Choe Parker: 4 | 75.398
- CF Lucky Blue, Kelsey Mogel: 8 | 75.899
Photos courtesy of Winslow Photography